Categories | Reptile Breeders | Lizard Breeders
If you are after a pet that is fascinating to keep, different, and actually quite interactive, a lizard may be just perfect. Here’s what you need to know.
Lizards belong to the reptile family and they are generally distinguished by the fact that they have four legs, movable eyelids, and external ear holes. Some species of lizards also have the capability to lose their tail as a defence mechanism, and they can the regrow the tail again. Others are able to change colour to suit their environment as a form of camouflage. Lizards vary greatly in size depending on the species and they can be as small as a few centimetres long and as large as nearly three metres long, although you won’t be keeping the really large lizards as pets!
Some lizards that you commonly see as pets include blue tongued lizards, bearded dragons, geckos, and monitor lizards. These are often easy to handle and you can have some form of interaction with them.
If you would like to keep a lizard as a pet, you will need to have suitable housing. An ideal environment is to have a timber enclosure that has a glass front and an easy to open and close, ventilated top. Make sure that there is no way that your lizard can escape as they are great escape artists. You should line the enclosure with a suitable substrate such as reptile sand, fake grass, or recycled paper kitty litter. Lizards will also require fixtures such as basking rocks, hidey holes, branches, bark, and so on. Being reptiles, you will need to provide a UV and heat source and a special light bulb is ideal for this. Place the light bulb at one end of the enclosure, so that they can go to the other side when they don’t require heat. The light bulb should be thermostatically controlled. As well, you will need to monitor the humidity levels carefully as many lizards need a certain amount of moistness to thrive. If you need to increase humidity, spraying water into the enclosure as required is ideal.
Feeding and Caring for Lizards
Feeding wise, many lizards are purely carnivorous, which means that their sole diet is meat products such as insects, worms, and products. Others are herbivorous so they can only eat plant matter such as fresh fruit and veggies. Yet others are omnivorous so will eat a combination of plants and meat. You will need to research what food your species of lizard eats before you bring it home and make sure that you have access to a ready food supply, whether that is frozen baby mice, live crickets and worms, or fresh plant matter. You will also need to have a constant supply of fresh, clean water. Often it is best to put the water in a sturdy, shallow bowl as many lizards like to bathe in water and use the water to help them shed. Another thing that you can do with some lizards is to spray water into their enclosure as they like to lick it from their heads.
Lizards produce a fair amount of waste and so you will need to clean the cage quite frequently. A full cleaning should be done at least once a week (make sure you have somewhere safe to put your lizard), and soiled areas should be removed as soon as you notice them. If you wish to handle your lizard, you should make sure that their limbs are fully supported. Never pick them up by the middle or the front or they may bite or lose their tail in stress. Wash your hands before and after handling them.
A Quick Note about Lizards
If you want to keep a lizard as a pet, you should know that it is illegal to take them from the wild. You can only keep lizards that have been bred in captivity. As well, you will need a permit or license to keep them and you should speak to your state or territory’s National Parks and Wildlife Authority to find out what the regulations are in regards to this.
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